It’s 5:51 p.m on a sunny evening at our home. Broad daylight. Two of my children are upstairs. Then I came face to face with a person dressed in all black and wearing a mask breaking into my house.
This moment has changed our lives forever.
Moments earlier, I am expecting guests for a Healthy, Fitness Event at my house.
I go to my closet to change my clothes, walk out of my bedroom. As I am walking into my living room, I see a shadow approaching my back door. Two steps later, I am face to face with a person in my house dressed in all black wearing a mask in my home.
Terror filled me to the spine.
Then it is my children – I have to protect my children!
Fight or flight kicks in.
The masked person runs off – I give chase (in hind site – something please don’t ever do) – but I saw where they were running. I chase them screaming at the top of my lungs, “YOU’RE ON CAMERA!!! YOU’RE ON CAMERA!!! YOU’RE ON CAMERA!!!!”
The masked person runs through my front yard and down the street.
Now I run to my phone. I call 911.
“Someone just broke into my house!!!! And my kids are upstairs!!!!”
Two officers from the McKinney Police Department arrive within minutes. Followed by the McKinney Forensics Department.
At the same time guests are filling my house.
Surreal does not begin to describe the scene.
Police gather the video surveillance, fingerprints, digital phone information, possible motives, and fill us in on only a limited amount of information since it is now a Criminal Investigation.
Hours later, after the police and guests have left, I am just now able to take a breath and begin processing what has happened. And knew potential threats of intruders returning were very real.
I. am. scared. to death.
So I do what I think I should to now protect my children and my family. I knew the message would get to the potential suspects or those involved.
Here’s the actual post:
I never threatened anyone. I did what I think any parent would do: I protected my children.
I’ve been a reporter and anchor for years – I’ve reported on home invasions where the outcome is tragically different.
In the ensuing minutes and hours after my post – an avalanche of confessions, texts, SnapChat videos and messages begin a collision course down a mountain of chaos and clarity. And ultimately, evidence.
My heart is broken. Our peace is shattered. Our security and sanctity of safety in our own home is violated.
Now police are doing their job and begin solving the case – with people confessing on social platforms they think will “disappear”.
What happens next to me and my family is beyond description.
Somehow, I am now the VILLAIN. A Terrorist. People are calling me A Child-KiIller. Internet memes depicting me with a swastika are posted. Fake Instagram accounts created mocking me
We are now receiving threats. My children are receiving threats.
We’ve been violated and victimized first by a break-in and now victimized because I protected my children, my home, my family.
Is this what it’s come to in our country?
Should I have stopped and ask masked intruders what they are here for? Am I suppose to ask them if they are here for a pop-tart, a popsicle, a TV or, by the way, are you here to kill me and my kids before I defend myself?
What in the world has our culture come to??
I am a mom that did what any parent would do to protect their children.
I would do it again. That is the EMPOWERED thing to do.
I pray you NEVER come face to face with a masked intruder while your children at home.
This is a heartbreaking story that has many levels we must all look at as parents and discuss.
There’s the social media aspect. Do you know what your children are posting? Are you literally plugged in to what is happening.
We are not perfect parents, we do our best – just like you. We try to get to know the kids our children are with – getting to know the kids and the families and having them in our house to do the right thing and protect them.
It is heartbreaking to learn that very thing and those very people used that against us.
Now we are looking at everything.
But we still are scared.
There’s also a family dynamic we address.
Remember – what was ultimately stolen was our peace of mind, our security and our safety.
The bigger story and conversation is also: Why is the VICTIM being victimized all over again?
What has our culture and society come to that our basic right of safety and protection with your own home becomes used against YOU as a criminal?
Remember who the criminal(s) are.
And I leave you with this question:
As a mother, let me ask you: Wouldn’t you do anything to protect your children?
This is NOT a gun debate or a parenting debate, it’s the basic right to keep your home and children safe.
As a mother – or father for that matter – let me ask you: Wouldn’t you do anything to protect your children?
I pray you never face a masked intruder, I feel confident you, too, would protect your children.
Thank you to all those for the love and support and prayers that we are (physically) safe.
Keep your family close and your children even closer.
I am a Mom protecting my home, family and children. That is what The Empowered Mom is! I’m not some Annie Oakley or vigilante. I just never knew how empowered I have become.
God Bless Each Of You and THANK YOU for your prayers, your love and your support.
Here’s some links to watch just some of the coverage following the home invasion and both the support and backlash.
And a story here after an initial arrest – the case remains ongoing.